Musicians represent high school at Grand Ole Opry


Amanda Hanzlik

Hitting a high note– the high school musicans involved in All-Nationals Honors Ensembles impress while performing together at the Grand Ole Opry.

Stefan Izydorczak, Arts & Entertainment

   On October 28, three students represented the high school in the All-National Honors Ensembles at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Senior vocalists Emily Williams, Katie Byrne and junior Ashish John all made it to the festival, along with students from around the nation.

   In order to qualify for the festival, students had to make it into the All-State choir in the previous school year. In order to qualify for All-State, students had to qualify for their regional choir.

   350 students from all over the country participated in the music festival, and three out of the 30 Connecticut students came from the high school.

  “I am very honored to have students that are representing the high school on a national level, and it is very overwhelming to know that three of the 30 Connecticut students that made it were my students. They worked extremely hard and waited for months to find out if they got in or not, but in the end their hard work paid off,” Music Department Chair Leslie Imse said.  Imse helped the students along with several others through the audition process.

   The performance took place at the famous Grand Ole Opry, also known as “The Home of American Music.”

   “I loved performing at Opry. It was the most beautiful concert hall I have ever been in. And to hear the amazing acoustics along with the 350 best high school choir singers in the nation is an unforgettable experience,” Williams said.

   The festival gave students an opportunity to not only perform with the “best of the best”, but to also meet students from all over the nation.

   “I had roommates from Kansas, Missouri, and Upstate New York. I had never met people from those states before, and it was interesting to hear others talk about the differences in their music programs and in their lifestyles,” Williams said.

   With Regional auditions coming up, high school students have the opportunity to hopefully start out what could potentially become a long journey to the All-Nationals Honors Ensembles.

   “It is a long process to apply for Regionals, All-State, and then Nationals. But it is definitely worth it if you get there. Try your hardest to have good auditions and prep well because it is worth the experience,” Williams said.